Should You Represent Yourself in Small Claims Court?

Question: I cannot resolve personal injury car accident claim with the insurance company. Should I file a lawsuit in small claims court and represent myself?

Answer: If you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance company (whether it be for a car accident, employment discrimination, etc.) and you believe your claim is worth under $10,000, I would strongly recommend considering filing a lawsuit in small claims court and representing yourself. I also recommend contacting a personal injury attorney before filing a lawsuit to help determine whether your case should be filed in small claims court, or if your case is worth more and should be filed in district court (under $100,000) or superior court (over $100,000).

If you decide to file your case in small claims court, do not be afraid: you will not be the only one representing yourself in small claims court. The rules of procedure and evidence are very relaxed in small claims court and many people represent themselves in small claims court. The Alaska Court System has a small claims handbook you should read before filing your claim. You can access it here.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden at 907-771-9002 or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can also visit our personal injury page.

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